Italian police bust Islamist bomb school

July 21, 2007 at 8:41 PM
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PERUGIA, Italy, July 21 (UPI) -- Police in Italy say they uncovered a bomb school for Islamist militants and arrested three suspects in a raid on a mosque in Perugia.

Police said they found evidence that the facility was used for training in explosives and poisons, as well as instructions for flying a Boeing 747, the BBC reported Saturday.

Investigators said the suspected terrorist cell had links to a group associated with Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaida network. They arrested the mosque's imam and two other men, all Moroccans, and have a warrant for a fourth man, the report said.

The three detainees were brought before a local court but refused to answer questions.

In a related raid, 20 foreign students were arrested and those without residence permits faced deportation.

Perugia is home to Italy's University for Foreigners. Hundreds of students from the Middle East are enrolled in courses at the school, the BBC said.

Italian Interior Minister Giuliano Amato said after the arrests it has become necessary to pay close attention to the use of mosques for activities unrelated to religion.

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